NSW travel ban to shut out Origin fans

NRL staff, players' families, fans and media face missing State of Origin II in Brisbane with travel restrictions imposed by the NSW government on certain parts of Sydney.

On Wednesday NSW recorded 16 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 with the state government enacting a range of restrictions across greater Sydney, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Blue Mountains for one week.

Stricter restrictions will be imposed from 4pm on Wednesday in seven local government areas (LGAs) of concern with The City of Sydney, Woollahra, Bayside, Canada Bay, Inner West and Randwick added to the already listed hotspot of Waverley.

A number of Origin players, their families and NRL staff reside in these areas and would need to make a desperate dash to Queensland for Sunday's game to avoid border closures.

However, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian urged anyone living or working in the seven LGAs not to travel before the 4pm cut off.

"We are being realistic and proportionate to the risk there. If you are living or working in those seven LGAs, please don't travel outside Sydney," she said.

"We don't want to contaminate or spread this variant into the regions.

"We are being proportionate to the risk, but it is an evolving situation."

The development comes after Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk declared the listed LGAs in Sydney would be locked out of Queensland from 1am on Thursday.

The premier confirmed the new hotspots will not be backdated which comes as some relief for the NSWRL, which is carefully monitoring the developing situation.

Those who are already in Origin camp in Kingscliff are expected to be free to enter Queensland for game two after completing border declarations upon arrival at Gold Coast airport on Monday.

Recently retired ex-Blues captain Boyd Cordner is safely in Queensland after leaving Sydney's eastern suburbs and is also expected to be free to attend Sunday night's clash at Suncorp Stadium.

However, the border closures will certainly impact fans planning to fly to Brisbane for the sold out Origin game, while several media outlets are also scrambling to organise staff to cover the spectacle.

It's understood some families of Origin players have already travelled to Queensland to avoid any issues.

The measures taken by the Queensland government are in response to Tuesday's announcement of 10 locally acquired cases in Sydney, however, Wednesday's results could force a change to the border restrictions.

The Blues had a team meeting on Wednesday morning before their scheduled day off in Kingscliff, where the developing COVID-19 situation in Sydney was addressed.

However, coaching staff want minimal distractions for the side as they prepare to wrap up the series with a win on Sunday night.